The second-to-last home game of the year was a busy recruiting weekend for Nebraska football, which hosted several visitors in a 28-25 loss to Northwestern. Though none of the targets committed — not surprising, given the caliber of player that NU is targeting — the atmosphere and coaching staff made their impact.
Here are three dispatches from Huskers Illustrated, a recruiting partner with The World-Herald:
Defensive end Taiwan Johnson
The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder is down to Arkansas, NU and Oklahoma State, and the Huskers helped their cause on Saturday.
“It was everything I thought it would be,” he said. “It was sold out. It has a record. Fans were going crazy and they were in full effect giving the full support.”
A frank conversation with defensive ends coach John Papuchis — also the Huskers’ recruiting coordinator — left a particular impact on the Manvel, Texas native.
“He let me know the situation,” Johnson said. “They told me it’s going to be hard and there will be times where they demand a lot from me. It’s up to me whether I decide if I want to do this … I appreciate that. I understand it. In the back of the mind as a player, you understand it’s not going to be easy. But at the same time you don’t want to accept it.”
OSU gets a visit next weekend from the three-star prospect.
Linebacker Thomas Brown
At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Brown has the natural size to pack on 20 more pounds and be a natural middle linebacker, or stay on the weakside. During his visit Saturday, Brown got some good news from defensive coordinator Carl Pelini.
“He told me I could fit in at any of their linebacker spots and could compete early,” Brown said. “I think that is cool that I have the versatility to play any of their linebacker positions.”
The Garden, Calif., native next visits Arizona State. Brown is a key linebacker target; you could see NU taking four at that position in the 2012 class.
Wide receiver/defensive back Marques Mosley
He made the trip with teammate and Upland (Calif.) fullback prospect Christian Powell. The 6-foot-, 175-pounder doesn’t have an offer, but he does have a clearer idea of what Nebraska’s about.
“It was amazing,” he said. “The atmosphere was outstanding. The team was fun and the players were nice.”
Mosley spent more of his time talking to defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, but could be a fit on either side of the ball.